A quiet moment, all too short.
A moment to breathe, rest,
but not be at peace.
Fighting so long, so hard,
and it never fucking ends.
I daren’t close my eyes,
or sleep, or dream.
Just a moment in the war,
where there is quiet.
The war is here, still.
I look at the soft sunlight
shining through a hole.
It’s still warm and beautiful.
But we are still people.
But still there is a war.
To sleep, to dream, to escape.
Just a moment of quiet.
Not a moment of peace.
The seas in Spain were so blue, so deep and dark and endless.
The sands always cold, and salty winds that pushed the sun away.
Did she know an angel there, who smiled and whose wings shone?
Did he shine light on her fear and turmoiled thoughts, bless her eyes?
Alone, dead of night, this blasted cold and the furs cannot warm souls.
Not hers. Not his. She knows where he’s gone. Only in the dark is there tears.
He did show tenderness, long ago. Softly touch her, give her skin his fire.
But passion will not stay. And love never came. His heart was never for her.
Will her angel love her, shine that light on her dark thoughts, and empty days?
Being sent away, a daughter, all she gave him was a daughter. So, another’s chosen.
She thought she loved him once. Was this all that God had chosen for her?
Will her angel love her, shine light in this dark moment, in this infernal cold?
The last exit home is coming up, just on the right.
The night has fallen, and there are pinprick stars.
There is a sad song playing, about love gone wrong.
I don’t want to go home. There’s nothing for me there.
I dream of flattening the accelerator, heading into darkness.
I dream of sunny Miami and beautiful women and good times.
I dream leaving the weight I carry, drop in the ocean, let it go.
I turn off onto my exit, head home.
The headlights catch the front windows. There’s no one to disturb.
The sad love song cuts off with the engine. I know how it ends, anyway.
The night is cool with the first of spring, things being born again.
Yet nothing changes, and I am tired, and want only to sleep.
The Milky Way spins around a black hole, an emptiness.
All these bright stars and our own little world, around a darkness.
Out in the nowhere, what holds us here, but an endless hunger?
Another night, trying to find love, or a pleasurable counterfeit.
Another night in the bars and clubs, looking at all those pretty women.
Another night, wanting to touch, and feel wanted, and welcomed in.
The pumping music and the songs full of passion and the good times.
The intoxicants and the madness and the fleeting pleasures we find.
And what holds us here, but an endless hunger?
The song is tender and naked and open.
Such words sung of limitless devotion.
Such emotion and love carried in her voice.
And it’s all for a love that went tits up.
It lasted years, but she got old and he wandered.
Some young pretty one replaced her.
Still, the song was captured in a certain moment,
when all was well and perfect and she thought
he would be forever hers, forever by her side.
And the song still gives me shivers,
even as hope continues to fade.
Maybe not in love with you, but I feel those butterflies
and that warmness inside my heart, when I’m with you.
You are sweet and kind and have a smile for the sun.
You are bold and courageous and have a kiss for the moon.
A couple of cocktails after work, some time to speak freely.
We’ve known the starless night of Tartarus, and it’s cold mornings.
We’ve known the emptiness of a lover being gone when we wake up.
And we’ve known the joyousness that holding on despite can bring.
We hug goodnight, and the joy of your company keeps me sane.
I see the light in your eyes that shines past the beauty of your skin.
If I tilt my head, squint just right, I can see you falling in love with me.
But I’m grateful to have your friendship, and the steel of your passions.
May we laugh about it all one day, up in paradise.
On the coast, as the cold storms come, tourist season over.
The stilled merry-go-rounds and closed up food stalls.
The closed shops and empty beaches and neon gone dark.
Just me and my thoughts here, in the harsh wind, salty air.
Summer comes and goes, the sun rolls around the sky.
A lover comes and sets a light that I flitt around wildly.
A temporary moon in my sky, that I guide myself by.
But lovers go, and winter comes, and all the excitment goes.
On the sand, among eternally wandering dunes, I watch waves
crash and roll back, and the clouds part for the sun, a little light.
Another girl I’ll remember has gone from me, a sweet, holy wound.
The sea seems eternal in it’s distance, but one day it too will pass away.
In the moss and green and wet of the forest,
beneath towering trees and filtered white sun,
by the waters still and cool and deep and dark,
we have come, leaving the weight of us behind.
Pale earth goddess, round and soft and warm
in a blue and white bikini, as we frolic in waters
ancient, chasing a dream and passion just as ancient,
as ancient as the first life to come into the world.
Under the clear waters, dark hair spreads a crown
and your soft, chubby face is bright and full of light,
and I feel safe under these waters with you, safe
and free, as if you hold all secrets of magic and birth.
We hold onto each other, shivering and laughing,
your flesh welcoming and calming and I feel again
like I did when all this was new to me, still mysterious.
You close your eyes and kiss my forehead, annoiting me.
We walk hand in hand back to camp, full of anticipation.
I kiss your cheek, behind your ear, whispers such words.
You giggle and blush and I wrap an arm around you shoulders.
We have left the weight of us behind, for awhile, in the forest.
And, earth goddess, a life will begin, and the dream goes on.
It’s been a long walk up here, six miles into the mountains, but I have to make sure I am alone and will not be disturbed. I am so vulnerable when I am like this, so easily found out. The whole way I’ve kept looking back over my shoulder, so certain someone was following me, whether because they knew my secret, or they just thought I was a normal human woman who they wanted to hurt for other reasons.
At some point, I was able to relax as I came closer and closer to the little grotto pool I was walking all this way for. I became sure I was alone, and no one would hurt me or find out what I truly was.
Salty tears began to glisten in my eyes, and I wiped them away. How long had it been since I was innocent of the world of man, unafraid and free in the cold waters of the mountains, frolic with my friends and exploring all of my world without fear? It seemed almost as if it had been part of another life, another me altogether. Sometimes the memory was only the thinnest gossamer of dream, that melted away with the morning sun.
I needed to get to the pool. I needed to feel the chill and pure waters of my mountain home again. Back in the city were we had fled too, when the mining operation had come, fouling our home forever, all I had where the public swimming pool during summer, and our apartments bathtub in winter. The public pool was heavily cholorined and it stung my skin and eyes, and the bathtub was confining and made me ache for freedom. But you do what you must when you have a need.
Finally, I had come to where the long walk was taking me. A slope onto a rock shore to the river, which was deep and still and dark. There was a grotto the river had carved out, with high walls that made me feel protected somehow. I felt so much weight and tension melt away from me then.
I put down my back pack, and then stripped out of my clothes, and walked into the water. I felt pure and whole again, as my human legs dissolved again into my natural tail, and the energy of the world I was born into welcomed me in again. I swam and frolicked like I hadn’t since I’d been a child, all those years ago. And then I floated on my back, swirling with the slow current, as I looked up at the clear blue June sky, a gentle stream of tears flowing from my eyes.
I stayed there in my secret grotto, in my holy place, until late afternoon. Then I turned my lovely tail once more into human legs, got dressed and headed back to the world of men, which was, and never would be my home, but where I had to survive now.
Do you think of me, Katie?
Long ago we had a short romance.
I could have laid happily in your arms
forever, until the very end of time.
I drew my first kiss from your lips.
You were the first I knew of love.
Are you any happier now?
Are you like me, disappointed
in how it all turned out,
and the shape of your world
and what it holds inside it?
Did you long for something?
I want to think you are happy,
that everything for you is perfect.
I want to think, too, that you remember
that cold winter afternoon, laying in peace
together, sometimes kissing, sometimes laughing,
and how warm our bodies were touching
and that sweet album you chose for us to hear.
I hope you cherish the memory like I do.